Crowdfunding Opportunities Multiply for Savvy Entrepreneurs

By Dave Crain, Director of Entrepreneurial Services, MAGNET

Mycestro™ is a 3D mouse that fits on the index finger and allows you to control your computer with hand gestures and mouse functions.

A year or so ago, I met Nick Mastandrea, who had invented a “wearable, wireless, 3D mouse“.  Even though I’m sure he cringed whenever I said it, I called it the finger mouse.

Allowing for control of computer software and hardware from up to 30 feet away, the product seemed to be an obvious solution for any number of problems.  It also allowed for some very interesting future technical scenarios, from controlling aircraft with a glove to “Minority Report”-style information control.

Nick, like many entrepreneurs, had trouble lining up sufficient capital to move forward into early commercial production. While there are a number of early-stage loan and grant programs around the region, sadly there simply isn’t enough money to fund everyone.

With the recent passage of the Jumpstart America bill however, these are interesting times and a number of crowdfunding sites have sprung up around the Internet.

In a display of just how effective such sites can be for early stage entrepreneurs, Nick’s Kickstarter campaign still has about a month to go (at the time of writing), and is overfunded almost 150%!

Kickstarter is only one of the popular crowdfunding sites around these days with Indiegogo, Rockethub, Gofundme, and Crowdrise among the many sites available to entrepreneur’s these days.  Each site has its own particular plusses and minuses, but one thing I like in general is that they aren’t just limited to technology startups.  In fact, the Oscars of last weekend saw a Kickstarter-funded film take home an Oscar!

So if you’re having trouble getting your funding together and haven’t considered venturing online to crowdfund it, maybe it’s time to reconsider.

Dave Crain

Dave Crain, Director of Entrepreneurial Services, The Incubator at MAGNET

What do you think about crowdfunding? Want to get some advice on taking your innovative idea to the next step? Drop me a line and I’ll be happy to talk with you about the many services and facilities available to entrepreneurs at The Incubator at MAGNET.

Posted by MAGNET Ohio in General

Most Recent

Boosting Business through Responsible Growth

May 02, 2018 by MAGNET Ohio

Article submitted by Bank of America For mid-market companies, business success and responsible growth aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, prioritizing responsible growth is becoming increasingly important, and successful companies are making sustainability central to their growth strategies. Beyond good corporate citizenship, they are recognizing the intrinsic link between the strength of their business and that of the communities and economies in which they operate. Leading your growth with those goals in mind builds resilience and better solutions for the future. Consider the following: Responsible growth companies perform better. Companies that consider the impact of risks and opportunities on the environment, local communities and society may produce better financial results than those that don’t. Additionally, 90% of companies believe a sustainability plan is important for remaining competitive. Responsible growth companies attract investment. A 2016 study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group surveyed 3,000 executives and managers from more than 100 countries. Findings revealed that 75% of senior executives in investment firms agree that a company’s sustainability performance is materially important to their investment decisions, and nearly half would not invest in a company with a poor sustainability record. Ninety percent of executives see sustainability as important, but only


February 22, 2018 by Sam Wasylyshyn

HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need

Manufacturing is Facing a New Reality

February 06, 2018 by Sam Wasylyshyn

How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent[1]. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report[2], AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space: